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House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said on Sunday that it bodes well for Ukraine aid for Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to discuss the matter with former President Trump, noting the former president still has “tremendous influence” in shaping the party’s policy positions.

In an interview on CBS News’s “Face the Nation,” moderator Margaret Brennan asked whether McCaul has concerns about the effect that misinformation about the Russian war in Ukraine has on his party, noting Trump has at times platformed some pro-Russia misinformation online.

“Well, I think that’s precisely why the speaker went down and Mar-a-Lago talk to him about the Ukraine package, to get him to agree that, you know, this loan program for direct government assistance, like the EU does, would be acceptable,” McCaul said.

McCaul said he believes Trump and his allies “don’t want to see us lose in Ukraine, like we did in Afghanistan,” noting, “the repercussions are long term, a weaker America not stronger.”

“I don’t think Trump wants to own that. I think he wants to help us get to the point where he gets in, and he can finish the job,” McCaul added.

McCaul’s remarks come as he has continued to push to get Ukraine aid to the floor for a vote, despite some backlash from his party. McCaul said he has gotten assurances from Johnson that a bill will be put to the floor for a vote, though it remains unclear what that package would look like. McCaul said he plans to talk to Johnson and other national security officials Sunday evening to discuss the matter further.

On Friday, Johnson also visited Trump to discuss Ukraine aid. Johnson finds himself in a difficult position as much of his conference has grown resistant to continuing aid to Ukraine’s efforts to fend off Russian aggression. While Johnson has said publicly that he intends to put some version of Ukraine aid on the floor for a vote, he could face a possible ouster vote from his position of speaker if he proceeds down that course.

“I’ll be honest with you, Margaret, he has tremendous influence over my conference. And that’s why it’s important that we have these discussions with him,” McCaul said when asked about the significance of Trump seemingly having to sign off on any bill for it to get support from House Republicans, even though he is not in office anymore.

“But we also, we’re all independent thinkers, we represent our own districts. I happen to think that we haven’t seen a threat like this since my dad’s World War II. And if we don’t stick together, it gets these- this unholy alliance that came after Afghanistan,” McCaul continued. “Remember Afghanistan was the turning point. And that is when the Russian Federation came into Ukraine. Chairman Xi is looking at Taiwan. Ayatollah reared its ugly head.”

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